What makes a dog rude?
That depends. Different people have different tolerances towards dogs.
Some people think that a jumping dog is rude, others think that licking is rude and dirty, and some do not like a dog coming near them at all.
Rudeness is relative.
In fact, we frequently have different tolerances towards different types of dogs. We are more friendly and tolerant of dogs that we find attractive, cute, or endearing and vice versa.
While walking my dog, I stay away from other people’s space. If there are pedestrians on a narrow sidewalk, I stop to the side or move into a driveway. We do not know the dog tolerance level of strangers, so it is best to be safe and avoid contact.
Some people stop and want to meet Shania, which is also great because she loves meeting people. She does like to jump though, so I always make sure to mention that.
Some people like looking at dogs but are also afraid of them. I met a lady last week who stood a distance away from Shania, made googly eyes at her, while saying “Hi” in a high pitched voice.
To the dog, all this attention from a distance is not only exciting, but also an invitation to meet. I said “Hi” back to her and calmly moved on.
Stop Rude Dog Behavior
Rude dog behaviors can be stopped through proper management and training. Dogs repeat behaviors that get them good results and stop behaviors that get them bad results. Dogs jump when meeting people because they usually get a lot of attention when they jump.
When a dog jumps, our instinct is to push the dog away. This usually ends up making the interaction even more exciting for the dog. From the dog’s point of view – it is a fun wrestling game.
To stop a dog from jumping, fold up your arms and turn away from him every time he jumps. In this way, he learns that jumping = no attention, and paws on the ground = lots of attention. However, for this to work, it is necessary to instruct everyone that meets your dog to follow this process. Otherwise, the dog will jump on most people, and only not jump on those that ignore them.
Just like rudeness in dogs, rudeness in people is also relative.
Just like rude dogs, rude people are not born rude. Instead, such people act rude because they are rewarded for their rudeness.
Workplaces, for example, are commonly filled with many rude people. If done right, rudeness in the workplace is often not seen as rudeness, but rather as intelligence, confidence, or strength. Clever bullies at the workplace know how to manage their bosses and peers. They are only rude to those who have less power, and/or seem like they can be easily intimidated.
Online forums are also a breeding ground for nasty people and bullies.
Why Be Rude?
For me, rudeness has very little upside. When someone is rude to us, and we return the favor, it just escalates into a tit-for-tat attack session. In the end there are many unhappy people, and a lot of wasted time.
Some common reasons people use for their rudeness include –
- We are just speaking the truth.
- The question is stupid.
- He did it first.
- I’m doing it for a good cause, e.g. to save dogs.
All of these reasons are problematic.
Truth can be spoken in a positive, neutral, or negative way. For example, I can say –
It is best to stay away from pet store puppies because they usually come from puppy mills. Puppy mills not only breed unhealthy puppies with poor temperament, but they also keep their dogs in extremely bad conditions. For more information, check out what The Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA, Oprah Winfrey, and Cesar Millan have to say about puppy mills.
Alternatively, I can say –
If you buy a puppy from a pet store then you are a stupid, poor-excuse of a human being. You are lazy, have not done your research, and should have your head examined. Then, you should be shot.
Both statements are against buying puppies from pet stores but one is rude and one is not. In fact, the neutral answer provides a lot more information and is more effective at convincing someone not to buy from a pet store.
Rude answers or comments rarely help our cause, and usually end up hurting it. The common responses to rudeness include –
- Attack back in kind.
- Stop listening and leave.
- Take exactly the opposite action.
In all scenarios, the dogs lose.
How Not to Be Rude
- If you feel the question is stupid, then just ignore it and focus on the good questions.
- If you truly care about the welfare of dogs, then put your ego in the back burner and use positive or neutral communication to convince others to join your cause. Rudeness will only make people stop listening to you, or do exactly the opposite of what you say.
- If *he* did it first, then be the first to walk away. Back and forth rudeness never ends up well. This article on online negativity explores more ways of how to deal with online bullies.
It is My Right to Be Rude!
Yes, indeed it is.
If you get your jollies from verbally attacking, degrading, and insulting others, you are free to do so. There are always bad repercussions though, and in the long term, you may not enjoy the results.
The truth is, there are many more constructive ways to spend your time.